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The Salmon City Council hosted two separate public hearings at its November 17th meeting. Both of the hearings had to do with public access rights-of-way vacation requests

The first request came from Catherine Myers and Salmon School District 291. The alley they wish the city to vacate is located between South Warpath and South Kay Streets and involves a total area of .11 acres. No city services exist under the alley way and no city taxes have been expended on the alley.

There were no public comments offered on the vacation request and on a unanimous vote the council allowed the request to continue with the official vacation process.

The second public hearing revolved around Mike Wallingford’s request to vacate 15th Street from the Cleveland Avenue intersection to the intersection of the Old Leesburg Road and to vacate a portion of an alleyway. Both are in the Arlington Heights Addition.

According to Wallingford the subdivision was created in 1910 and the property he wishes vacated has never been used as either street or alley, has always been fenced and there have always been outbuildings located in what was platted as an alley. He said he discovered it was listed as a city alley when, in the 1990’s, he applied for a permit to replace the old structures with a new garage. The city gave him the permit and told him not to worry about the property lines since the city planned to clean up such issues with a remapping project.

City Planner Dan Maiyo read into the record three letters in favor of Wallingford’s request, five letters opposing it and stated he had had one phone call from a neighbor who supports the vacation request. Attorney Jock Slavin represented Bob Wiederrick’s opposition to vacating the entire width of the alley. Wiederrick advocates vacating the south side of the alley where the garage is located and leaving the north side of the alley open for public access.

In rebuttal Wallingford said that there are other means of access to the home Wiederrick is building.

During council discussion after the hearing closed the membership was divided on whether or not to allow the request, as written, to proceed into the vacation process. The final vote tallied three opposed, Bartlett, Baker and Radford, and three in favor, Gutzman, Kluesner and Marshall, which constituted a tie. Normally, it is the function of the mayor to cast tie breaking votes however with that office vacant the tie could not be broken therefore the street and alley vacation request to move forward in the official vacation process was left undecided. Attorney McKinney advised the council that if Wallingford wishes to submit a reworded request that does not expand the original request in any way, there would be no additional costs to him and the rewritten request could be brought before the council for further consideration.

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